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In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, who is Cecil Jacobs?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Cecil Jacobs is one of Scout's classmates. He lives at the far end of her street next to the post office and gives her a hard time at school. In chapter 9, Cecil Jacobs makes several derogatory remarks on the playground directed at Scout and her father. According to Scout, Cecil Jacobs announced to the entire school that "Scout Finch's daddy defended niggers" (Lee, 77). Scout responds by clenching her fists and telling him to take it back. That night, Scout asks her father what Cecil Jacobs meant, and he proceeds to explain how he will defend a black man named Tom Robinson. Atticus also encourages Scout to keep her head high and fists down whenever someone tries to upset her. The next day, Cecil Jacobs says,

My folks said your daddy was a disgrace an‘ that nigger oughta hang from the water-tank! (Lee, 79).

Clearly, Cecil Jacobs comes from a prejudiced family and is not afraid to share his racists opinions with Scout at school. Later in the novel, Cecil Jacobs brings in an article for a Current Events activity in class about how Hitler is persecuting the Jews in Europe. Miss Gates then reveals her hypocrisy by mentioning that there is no prejudice in America.

Although Cecil Jacobs is a minor character, his presence in the novel is significant because his racist comments expose Scout to the true nature of her community. Scout also recognizes Miss Gates's hypocrisy because Cecil decided to bring in an article on Hitler. 

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Dorothea Tolbert eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Cecil Jacobs is Scout's classmate. He lives on the same street as her, though he is further down and closer to the Maycomb post office. Both Scout and Cecil are in the same class with Miss Gates as their teacher.  

Scout almost fights Cecil when he tries to insult Atticus. She eventually decides not to fight him, but Cecil calls her a coward. Eventually, they become friends. During the Halloween event at the high school, Scout and Cecil visit the various booths together and spend their money on treats. They each come with thirty cents.

Cecil and his family are Baptists, and his father plays on the Baptist football team. During the Halloween pageant, Cecil dresses up as a cow. When Scout and Jem walk to the Halloween event at the high school, Cecil sneaks up and scares them:

Someone leaped at us.

"God almighty!" Jem yelled.  

A circle of light burst in our faces, and Cecil Jacobs jumped in glee behind it. "Haa-a, gotcha!" he shrieked. "Thought you'd be comin' along this way!"

"What are you doin' way out here by yourself, boy? Ain't you scared of Boo Radley?"

Cecil had ridden safely to the auditorium with his parents, hadn't seen us, then had ventured down this far because he knew good and well we'd be coming along. He thought Mr. Finch'd be with us, though.

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